Shape Divider - Style tilt
A story of persistence
In 2019 Emma returned to international competition after two years away from the sport. She won a silver medal at the World Championships in Linz, Austria, her 5th World Championship medal in the women's single scull. With limited international racing in 2020 due to lockdown, Emma next returned to the water at the Olympics in Tokyo - winning the women's single in an Olympic Best Time and in doing so becoming New Zealand's 48th Olympic gold medallist and the only New Zealand female to win the Olympic Single Scull event.
Emma's international rowing career has spanned 16 years. A 3 x Olympian and World Champion. She has competed at the Beijing, London and Rio Olympics and was crowned World Champion in 2014 at the World Rowing Champs in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Her rowing resume includes a Senior, U23 and Junior World title in the Women’s single scull – a trifecta rarely achieved in the single scull.
Emma has been a consistent World Cup and World Championship medallist and has not placed outside the top four in the world since 2009. In 2005 Emma was awarded the Halberg Emerging Talent Award at the New Zealand Sports Awards and in 2014 was named World Rowing’s female rower of the year.
Emma took 2015 off from international competition and completed the FIFA Master in Management, Law and Humanities of Sport, building on an undergraduate degree from the University of Waikato. After narrowly missing out on a medal by placing 4th in Rio, Emma took time off from rowing again in 2017 and worked in Switzerland at the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It was during her time at the IOC that she was inspired to get back in a boat and set her sights on a fourth Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
Emma intends to make the most of the privilege of being an elite athlete. A key driver in her Tokyo campaign is the belief that she can inspire others and be a positive role model for all New Zealanders.